Thomas Kelley Wilson, 98, passed peacefully from this world to his heavenly home on March 31, 2012, at St. Mary's Hospice House in Athens.
Born January 1, 1914 on the family farm in Banks County, he was an active member of Webbs Creek Baptist Church for 89 years, where he served as a deacon and in other positions of leadership. He also was a faithful member of the Gideon Ministry.
Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Eva Faulkner Wilson; her two sons, Bill Faulkner and Jerry Faulkner and their wives and children; nephew Clarence Lomas; six great-nephews and nieces, Tom Jones, Mary Pat Beckum, Linda Couey, Stephen Lomas, Susan Holcombe, and Sandy Lomas; eleven great-great nephews and nieces. He also leaves behind a beloved and faithful caregiver, Andrew Wiley.
Mr. Wilson was predeceased by his parents, Michael John Wilson and Pearl Kelley Wilson; his first wife, Guynelle Green Wilson; sisters, Laura Wilson DuPree, Cortez Wilson Lomas, and Rosalee Wilson Jones; and nephews, Jackson Jones and John Jones.
He graduated from Banks County High School in 1930, attended North Georgia Military College for three years, and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1934 with a BS in agriculture. He then began his career with the USDA in the AAA program started by President Roosevelt. In 1941 he was called to active duty with the United States Army as a transportation and supply officer and then fought with the 7th Army in France and Germany until the end of World War II, eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1963. He returned home and worked with the USDA Farm Home Administration until his retirement in 1972.
Mr. Wilson served his community well for many years in numerous capacities. Organizations he served, many of which he presided over or chaired, include Banks County Commissioners, American Legion Post 215, Banks County Chamber of Commerce, Holiday Festival, AARP, Washington Lions Club, Georgia Mountain Development Authority, North Georgia Health System Agency, Bank of Banks Board of Directors, Hudson River Watershed Association, Banks County Development Authority, Banks County Sunday School Celebration, Community Brotherhood, Jackson EMC Board of Directors for 26 years, Masons and Shriners, Banks County Historical Society, Banks County Cattlemen's Association, and Meals on Wheels since its inception.
The family will receive visitors on Monday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. The celebration of life service will be on Tuesday, April 3, at Webbs Creek Baptist Church with the Revs. Robert Beckum, Bob Hill and Wade Lott officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Gideons International at P.O. Box 225, Commerce, GA 30529, or to Webbs Creek Baptist Church at 647 Webbs Creek Rd., Commerce, GA 30529.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, is in charge of arrangements.